Saturday, March 31, 2012

FB has no Ears - That's Why They Don't LISTEN

A Day Late and Completely Insane
FB Timeline... pretty for sharing pics of your family, your furry pets (or non-furry like the fish-kind) and casual social interaction.  HORRID for conducting business - especially for e-commerce if you intend for people to get to your website to purchase something.

The top 1/2 of any webpage is the most valuable real estate on that website. Why?  Because people don't have to scroll to see it.  So whatever is placed there will be the most viewed and most clicked links.

See the problem with timeline?

One big, fat picture doesn't allow people to click through to your website.  They have to search to find a link to your online store.  They have to search to even find more of your photos with your products.  That's why the BIGGEST online marketers had not, nor wanted to switch to timeline.

Consumers don't like to have to work to find what they want online.  Making it easier for them to shop means better and more customers!

But overnight FB decided to completely ignore the online marketing experts, ignore the e-mails that were sent in explaining why that structure was bad for businesses and flipped the switch on all business pages.

I had hoped they would have a change of heart and allow people the choice about how to market their business.  But they didn't...

Time will tell whether or not business owners will continue to use FB as one of their main marketing platforms, or if pages will become like ghost towns, with random posts once in a while and minimal interaction. 

In forcing everybody to timeline, FB put the axe down on many other significant apps.  No longer does your Etsy shop show up as a tab... again being horrible for e-commerce and marketing your products.  I'm no longer an artfire user, but I'm guessing those users will be in a similar boat in the FB timeline.

I have and do use other platforms.  I will be doing more on Google+ and I've had much enjoyment and success on Twitter.  Connect with me if you wish!  I will continue to share great blog posts and creations I see from other bloggers and creative artisans.

Like I said, timeline is completely different for personal profiles.  Personal profiles and business pages serve two completely different purposes on FB.  I think I'm going to need a giganto cup of java today while I do all the updates I have to do.  Lovely....

Have a terrific freakin' day!

Here's the fine print:  The opinions expressed in this blog post are just that - opinions of the author and blog owner.  She is not affiliated or employed by Facebook.  Thus, her opinions and those of other experienced internet marketers have been completely ignored by FB and it's subsidiaries. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Accessorizing a Grand Wedding Celebration - Part 1

This summer, my sister is getting married!  We've been shopping for THE dress (and have secured it.)  In case her fiance is reading this, it's pink w/ green polka dots and tube top style! ;)  And that's all we're saying! tee hee ☺

We're all so very excited to help Amy celebrate her nuptials.  Being that I'm the artisan in the family, Amy has asked that I help accessorize her (and the rest of us) for her big day!  SO this is the first blog post in a series of projects I'm working on for Amy's wedding.  I'll be doing the bride's jewelry, her wedding veil (which I'm so excited about), my mom's jewelry and a few other surprise pieces thrown in there too!

I'm so excited to share these bead embroidered earrings with you.  I made these for my mom who's wearing a gorgeous pink chiffon dress.  It has some beadwork on the asymmetrical handkerchief hem.  She has a necklace I made for her already, but these earrings are the perfect finishing touch to her outfit.

My mom used to have pierced ears, but after years of not wearing earrings (two wonderful grandbabies that would see earrings as fun toys) her earring holes have closed up.  So I wanted to make her a pair of clip earrings that didn't look like traditional clip on earrings. 

Because the necklace has multiple shades of pink, I wanted to mirror that in the earrings.  This makes them more versatile that she can wear with multiple pink outfits. And who wouldn't want to wear these... like all the time!  :o)  If you've been reading my blog, you know I'm all about big bling!  I LOVE CRYSTAL (and soon, I'm sure I'll have to find a support group for that).

I used a Swarovski flat-backed crystal as the focal then bead embroidered around it.  The fringe off the bottom also features Swarovski crystals and a Swarovski tear drop.  They look stunning in person and my mom is thrilled with them not looking like "old lady" earrings.  PLUS they are super lightweight, so her ears won't get a headache from carrying around anything too heavy!

Stay tuned for more in my series of Accessorizing a Grand Wedding Celebration!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Grand Bead Embroidery Plan Takes a Detour

What do they say about the best plans... sometimes they take a little detour, right?  Well, I'm officially on the Detour Turnpike and loving it!  

With summer coming I decided to make some smaller, bead embroidered pieces for my Etsy shop that are easy to wear with your daily wardrobe.  I love a statement piece as much as anybody else.  But I wanted to bring in an element of casual style while still maintaining the unique artistry of bead embroidery.

So I created these earrings, call them Purple Reign and intended fully to list them in my store for sale.

Then as I as beading, they started to hypnotize me... and sing to me... and then they batted their sweet little leverbacks as I was taking their picture and you know what?

This prototype pair has now found it's permanent place in my jewelry box.  For me.forever mine!  Yep, I loved them so much I had to keep them... dang their sweet charm!

BUT I love them so much it's the first time that I'll gladly repeat a design.  Why?  Because I think every earlobe on the planet needs a pair of these!  So I did list them in my Etsy store as made to order. 

So if you're looking for some really lightweight fun earrings for the summer, or a gift for someone special, check out my made-to-order listing for Purple Reign!

Am I the only one that's designed to sell, then decided to keep the piece?  What's your story???  

Hope your week is absolutely fabulous! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Funny - This One Will Make Aunt Monica Laugh out loud - ALOT

Old habits die hard people... you know it, so don't deny it.  IF you've ever tried to give up caffeine or smoking (I love my coffee and have never smoked so I'm speaking vicariously through others) you know just how hard kicking the habit can be.

Yesterday was Puppy Pampering Day.  Each of my girls had their trip to the groomer so they could get all sparkly and smelling pretty before Easter.  She's on vacation next week, so now was the time!  While I took pint-sized Bella in first, I opted to run my errands before I went home to pick up Brandi.  Errands included grocery shopping - at 2 different stores for sale purposes.

Nothing fancy or funny yet, right?  Just wait, there's more...

Upon loading up the groceries into my Odyssey from the 2nd store, it was now time to go unpack them, put them away and pick up Brandi.  So I jumped in the van and took off...

I went straight at the stop light, drove up the road, pulled into the driveway.  I parked the van, popped open the door and was carrying my groceries up to the door when I realized...  I don't live there anymore.

Did you read that?

I was taking my groceries to my old house.  The home where we no longer live... and it didn't "dawn" on me as I was driving up the road.  It didn't even make me do a double take pulling in the driveway or getting out of the van.  It wasn't until I had 6 bags of groceries and I was juggling my keys trying to get the one for the back door that I was in the WRONG HOUSE!  LOL

I'm still laughing, I had to call Chris at work and make him laugh. 

Now I've had many other funny vehicle moments - like the time I did a dashboard pedicure, or the time I got in the back seat, BUCKLED UP and was waiting for the driver to get in to take me home... but there was no driver, it was just me.  Or the second time I did that - different vehicle, same result.  Ghost drivers don't drive.  And that my friends is a true story... just ask my Aunt Monica.  I thought she was going to pee her pants laughing WITH me,  because as I retold the story is sounded, well... rather stupid. 

So I do hope you have better success at kicking old habits.  And I also hope you have had a great laugh at my expense today.  Just think, if laughter is the best medicine I just kicked your cold, fought your flu and sent you on your way to a wonderful week!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Worlds Apart - The Tale of a Bead Embroidered Necklace

When you're looking at art, you know that to the artist that created the piece, every piece tells it's own story.  No matter the place or time, the inspiration that started that design was something special to the artist.

Worlds Apart for me is exactly that.  Throughout the process of the move I knew two things1.  Nobody was going to touch my studio.  I knew I was going to have to organize, pack, unpack and organize again at my own pace.  2.  If I was going to focus in order to get the rest of our house packed, I knew I needed to pack the studio sooner than later.  Which lead to #3.... I would be without my beads for at least 2-3 weeks.

What, 3 weeks without beads???  Am I crazy???  (Hey, at least I didn't do away with coffee in that time frame too!)

Week 1 was very productive... packing, organizing, taking things to Goodwill.  Week #2 I started to go a little crazy and by week 3 I was ready to lick the Miyuki right off that seed bead.  Okay, maybe that's a little exaggerated, but I was going through withdrawls.  So when the opportunity arose that I had a little extra time, and some brand new shades of Nicole's Beadbacking that I wanted to play with, I "allowed" myself to sit down and create - in my new studio.

I created this piece a little at a time whenever the stress of the move really got to me.  I'd bring a van load of tubs over to the new house, unpack the contents, then sit in my new studio and listen to the beads.  It brought me such peace as I was making it. 

This piece is called Worlds Apart for a couple of different reasons.  The obvious is that the focal resembles a globe.  Being in purple and green it represents passion and growth, two feelings I really experienced in the process of finding a new home and moving.  The other reason Worlds Apart fits this piece so perfectly has to do with the timing of it's design.

Our old home was a classic, early 1900's Victorian.  It was a large 2 story with winding staircases, no air conditioning, and cable... well, we had to "create" our own wiring for tv in the bedroom.  Our new home is a contemporary ranch.  It's fairly new with the open concept design.  The windows are all high efficiency, we have central air and cable in all the rooms.  The basement is finished (great for Chris' man cave) and it's 180 degrees opposite from our old home.

Hence "Worlds Apart" for the name of this beaded design.  Leaving what we knew and had become very familiar with for a new, unknown yet equally welcoming home.  We're in a place now that we truly appreciate the simple things.  Less maintenance means more time being with those we love and doing the things we love.  No stairs are so important to our aging Springer.  She's acting like a kid again because all the windows are eye level for her.  Puppy Dog Delight!

So this bead embroidered necklace was my first creation in my new studio.  The lighting is beautiful, the windows just beg the sun to shine in and my creative heart is all fluttery with love and happiness.  May your day be filled with delightful adventures too!


Worlds Apart is available in my Etsy store. It's the perfect necklace for spring and summer because the colors are so vivid.  If you'd like to have a one of a kind piece of jewelry made just for you, feel free to e-mail me and I will work with you to turn your dream design into a reality!

Monday, March 19, 2012

LIVE from Lake Geneva WI - Designs by Dawn Marie Custom Beaded Jewelry

Home Sweet Home!
Designs by Dawn Marie is so excited to finally be coming to you LIVE from Lake Geneva WI!  Our big move has finally become a reality.  Last week was so incredibly busy, but it couldn't have been more amazing.  I honestly know somebody up in heaven was looking out for us because everything came together so beautifully, it was a force beyond our control.

First the weather - SUNSHINE, blue sky and 70's... in March... in WISCONSIN - for real?  Yes indeed we won the weather lottery last week. 

Okay, now here's your laugh... I dropped the girls off at my mom's for the day so nobody got underfoot.  Lucy, my dog sister was so very happy to have Brandi & Bella to play with all day.  When I got back from my mom's, I pulled in the driveway and saw this huge van parked and being loaded.  My exact thought was "Holy crap, I wonder who else they are moving with us because that's ridiculous."  After all, we moved everything except the furniture.  So literally all the moving guys were packing and moving was beds, dressers, and other furniture... surely not a whole truck full of this size.

Um, well, these words are tasting quite a bit like peanuts... packing peanuts.  Indeed we did fill this truck.  The movers are the experts, they knew the space they would need and they nailed it to the inch.  Literally, they could not have fit one more thing in the truck.  To which I'm laughing because I was the crazy one.  I guess I'll just go back to designing because I'm not cut out to be a professional mover.

For those that are local to me, AC Transfer and Storage out of Delavan was WONDERFUL! (262) 728-3311.  They took such good care of our belongings, actual moving costs came in under the estimate and they were very personable.  I highly recommend them if you're looking to move... because after all, your friends and family will only work so many times for pizza and beer... then you're left holding the empties! :o)
Welcome Home - Put on our garage door on moving day!
Now isn't this sign just the sweetest?  Somebody really knew how to make two people feel very welcomed into their new home and new neighborhood.  Don't know who it was, but everybody we've met in the neighborhood has been so very kind.

So to further enjoy our new home and being in Lake Geneva, we walked downtown for St. Patty's Day.  Yes, WALKED!!!  It was awesome... no more feeding the meters (and getting $13 tickets for being 1 minute late on getting back to your car.)  No more worrying about traffic jams on Sunday afternoons... because now these two feet can get me up close and personal with all the fun Lake Geneva has to offer.
Moving makes us sleepy...

This summer is going to be wonderful in our new home, I can just feel it.  I'm very much looking forward to meeting other local business owners and helping to promote the community.  I also hope to meet some of our local boutique and art gallery owners and introduce them to Designs by Dawn Marie Artisan Beaded Jewelry! 

Thanks so much for all your well wishes throughout the move.  We now continue with our regularly scheduled business of creating more custom beaded jewelry one piece at a time! 


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Report on Progress and FOCUS

Wall of Organization - in Progress
I'm so happy to say things are coming along nicely with our move.  I'm so tickled I got my entry done and was able to play along with the Challenge of Music last week.  Talk about putting oneself under pressure... remind me again why I, as my own boss, put myself under such stressers???  Geez....

Late last week I embarked on the task of packing up my studio and moving it.  I didn't want to miss a beat once we're into the new house by having to unpack and organize.  SO I packed it one day, moved it the next and unpacked and organized the boxes, tubs and various "sorter" systems I use.   So with the exception of the desk I am sitting at typing away on my computer (which will be moved by the movers - or in Wisconsin Moooooovers) LOL my studio is moved successfully!

I have to share this little picture with you too.  Actually I need to give you a disclaimer on both photos.  If you squint your eyes and look at them, they don't appear quite as fuzzy... or have a cocktail or two first and all will look perfectly normal.  However, these were taken with my camera phone, so if you do enlarge them, don't say I didn't warn you, K? 

Here's your funny story for the day and then I'm done bending your ear for now... :o)  For my birthday, my dear sweet brother asked me what I wanted.  Being the smart arse that I am, I told him how much I loved the 2011 Camaro Convertible and that would be a great gift.  He didn't even have to deliver it, just tell me where I can pick it up.

Little did I know this would lead to the funniest gift I've ever gotten.  My dear sweet little brother did indeed get me my 2011 Camaro Convertible, but then told me my butt might be too big to get in it. (said very lovingly of course)  It was also given with two 5 lb. bags of M&M's - one peanut, one regular.  So just in case there was a question mark in my brain regarding the love from my dear sweet brother... he put the M&M on the exclamation point. 

SO this photo was taken to show him I've safely "parked" my Camaro in my new studio so it wouldn't have to sit outside in the snow.  LOL  And as an added bonus, you can see who really likes my studio... Brandi.  I have 3 windows facing South (mama loves me some sunshine!) and Brandi loves the fact she can sit on the floor and look right out to watch her passing cars and neighborhood dogs!

Just 1 week to go and then the move will be complete!  Thanks so much for playing along with our moving game.  I'm sure you're glad YOU aren't the one lifting the boxes!  Right?



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